The city is picking up our Christmas trees for recycling this Thursday, January 3. Normally we leave our tree up until January 6th so this means we'll have to take it down four whole days earlier this year. That's four fewer days of Christmas! This is the kind of thing that typically bums me out but you know what? I'm okay with it this time. When we take down our tree, we'll take down all our decorations and though I'll miss the festive warmth and cheer they add to the apartment, I'm ready to move on. I'm ready to slough off the old year and welcome in the new.
Not that 2012 was all that bad. It was quite lovely, actually. I exceeded my booking goals for the business and am well on my way towards accomplishing some of next year's already. We traveled around the US and explored San Diego, Mendocino, New York, Austin, and DC. I lost 5 of the 8 pounds I wanted to shed and I have a plan of attack to return to a healthier lifestyle in the new year. We celebrated our 4th anniversary, welcomed new members of the family, and said goodbye to loved ones. The Boyfriend embarked on a new business adventure and Molly learned a new trick (I had to mention Molly, right?). Overall, I'd give 2012 a gold star.
But lurking behind all the highlights of the last year is a constant stream of negativity and criticism that I'm not all that proud of. It spreads like poison in all areas of my life from criticism of my work to my eating habits to my physical appearance. The worst part is, I bring it on myself. I am my own worst critic.
Honestly, though, aren't we all? We are our own worst critics. It's not always a bad thing. Self-critique can motivate and inspire you to push yourself further, try new things, set new goals. But when it becomes a persistent negative force in your life, when nothing you do is good enough and it feels impossible to see the positive, then you've crossed into an unhealthy land of fear and self-doubt. All you're left with is an utter lack of confidence.
Now, I haven't gone quite that far yet. I've maintained a pretty positive outlook and am generally a happy person. But I still have this nagging voice in my head that really likes to point out the negatives sometimes. It's that little voice that not-so-quietly reminds you what a piggie you are for eating dessert again, or how lazy you are for skipping the gym two days in a row, or what an idiot you are for making such-and-such mistake. I don't talk to my friends and family that way so why should I let anyone, including myself, talk to me that way? Which is why my goal for 2013 is to tell that voice to shut the eff up.
Rather than telling myself I have to work out so I don't get fat, I want to approach it as working out to stay healthy. Rather than immediately looking for flaws in my own work that no one else can see, I'm going to give myself a little pat on the back and be happy with the final product. Rather than dwelling on how much I still have to do to improve my business, I'm going to remind myself how far I've come and what I've accomplished in the last year.
It won't always be easy keeping a positive outlook in the face of challenge so my goal for the year is not just about 'being more positive' - it's about approaching everything, including the challenges, from a new perspective. I mean, I've been beating myself up for 30 years already. It's time to be happy with the life I've created while focusing on healthy ways of making it even more awesome in 2013.
What are your goals for the new year?